【Illustrator/PV Animator】高村真耶/MAYA (TAKAMURA Maya)

Artwork of the main characters from Zektbach's Blind Justice~Torn souls, Hurt Faiths ~. Click to enlarge.

高村真耶 (TAKAMURA Maya), also known as VJ MAYA, is a professional illustrator who also does video work, and is best known for her animated videos in Konami’s beatmania IIDX games, such as PVs for Zektbach’s Ristaccia and kors k’s smooooch・∀・. She resigned from Konami in 2008 and now works as a freelance illustrator, though she has recently made two videos for beatmania IIDX 17 SIRIUS. Takamura’s birthday is on March 30th and is a graduate of Osaka University of Arts.

Takamura’s artwork is of quite the anime/manga style, with many large eyed characters, undetailed faces, and beautiful, almost extravagant clothing designs. However, her artwork, even outside of the fantasy-themed Zektbach videos, seems to be influenced by things such as 17th century fashion(?), Middle Eastern costumes, and other western clothing in general (dresses, ribbons, jewelled hairpieces). Of course, Takamura is also capable of executing many other styles and themes skillfully as well, outside of the themes mentioned above. Her artwork is mainly drawn with impeccably clean black and white line art and then coloured in, and she usually shades parts of the hair and details with black lines as well, giving them a intricate and solid look. Her colouring style varies a lot depending on what kind of tone she is trying to achieve, but everything that she does colour is very colourful, vibrant, and extremely well-coordinated. She seems to like using bright, almost neon colours if she gets the chance, and her mastery of colour is made apparent by this as they are just bright enough that they don’t look garish or difficult to look at.

As for her videos, they are, to put it in one word, incomparable, especially for the heavily animated Zektbach videos. All animations were drawn by Takamura alone, and the fluidity of everything is incredible. I can’t even begin to imagine how many pictures she had to draw for each video (or even every few seconds) in order to show that kind of detailed motion. Composition of videos are perfect as well, with a lot of creative effects for both changing scenes and connecting objects. Despite being obviously 2D, videos like Turii ~Panta Rhei~ have animation that include panning and zooming, making the videos even more immersive. Takamura’s video work is probably the pinnacle of hand drawn PVs. Please watch them.

Essential Works – beatmania IIDX videos:
1. Ristaccia
2. smooooch・∀・
3. Turii ~Panta Rhei~ **Personal Favourite**

Website: http://maya.vc/ (Japanese)
Wikipedia Entry: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/高村真耶 (Japanese)
RemyWiki Entry: http://vjarmy.com/wiki/index.php/Maya_Takamura
Youtube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9C16845C60947851